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Brenda Sue-Tolian: Paint Through It

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's and related dementiaA term used to describe a group of brain disorders that cause a broad complex of symptoms such as disorientation, confusion, memory loss, impaired judgment and alterations in mood and personality. in 2009. My beloved grandfather passed away from Parkinson’s complications, so it is a well-known disease to my family. I just turned 40 and am a single mother of twin teenagers.

Parkinson's at first stole so much. My downward spiral with mobility, memory and simply mourning my loss of the self I was used to, was at times so overwhelming. It’s so hard living with a mind and body that betrays.

I have since been on a road of recovery and self-discovery. I changed my attitude, my diet. I went from always using a cane and leg brace to hiking and dancing. I have become an artist – I paint, write and play music. That is the big change.

After diagnosis I let Parkinson's become me – my health and life suffered. I finally decided to fight back and take life back. It’s amazing what that decision can do for those of us who suffer with this disease. I don't sit in pain. I paint through it or walk through it. I fight and challenge it every minute of every day.

I hope for a cure for all of us, but until then I encourage everyone to live their best life!

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